Known to come from humble beginnings himself, President Nathan was always known to have a heart for the less privileged in society. He himself started work as a seaman welfare officer and a medical social worker. During his term of office he founded the President’s Challenge which consolidated many charity projects and those already under his name and patronage. Since 2000 the President’s Challenge has disbursed funds to more than 800 registered beneficiaries.
The late President Nathan was also a strong proponent of inter-religious harmony. He was the first Patron of Singapore’s Inter-religious Organisation (IRO), holding the office since 2012 until the time of his passing. Catholics also fondly remember the presence of both Mr and Mrs Nathan at the Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia in October 2001. The first couple then, also met Pope St John Paul II, in a private visit to the Vatican in 2002.
For his more than 50 years of service to the country and the people of Singapore, we bid Mr Nathan – rest in peace. We the Catholic Church in Singapore send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to Mrs Nathan, her children and grandchildren.
Issued by the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Communications Office
23 August 2016